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16

TL;DR No, the approach is not secure. Use a standard like CMAC instead. Or even better, check your AES accelerator module to see if it supports any AEAD modes of encryption like GCM, CCM, EAX. Long Version In order for a message authentication code (MAC) to be secure, an adversary with oracle access to the MAC (basically this means the adversary can send ...


14

If this requires a single answer among 1/2/3/4 (rather than none), I would select 3, by the following reasoning: Digital Signature provides confidentiality while message authentication code can not We can summarily exclude this, since since Digital Signature simply do not provide confidentiality. Digital Signatures works faster than ...


9

First the theoretical explanations: Integrity and authenticity are different goals to achieve, but both are achieved (for symmetric encryption) with a MAC. You should probably be using encrypt-than-MAC or an authenticated cipher unless you have very good reasons not to. No blanket statements can be made though. HMAC: HMAC is a often used construct. It ...


8

Although there are already many answers here, I wanted to strongly advocate AGAINST MAC-then-encrypt. I fully agree with Thomas' first half of the answer, but completely disagree with the second half. The ciphertext is the ENTIRE ciphertext (including IV etc.), and this is what must be MACed. This is granted. However, if you MAC-then-encrypt in the ...


6

I'll answer in order: Output size = input size That's correct, GCM uses CTR internally. It encrypts a counter value for each block, but it only uses as many bits as required from the last block. CTR turns the block cipher into a stream cipher. IV of any size For GCM a 12 byte IV is strongly suggested as other IV lengths will require additional ...


6

NMAC is really just an "education tool" on the way to HMAC and I don't think anyone intended it to be used. The two keys are needed since the first and second hashes have different purposes. The first hash on the message is just needed to get collision resistance, whereas the second hash is supposed to provide a pseudorandom function type property. As such, ...


5

In summary: Yes, HMAC is the way to go for construction of a MAC from an arbitrary concrete iterated hash. We have no constructive argument of security of the MAC constructs in the question; we even have a concrete attack when using some otherwise apparently fine hashes. I consider a hash constructed by iterating a compression function $F$ as ...


5

The pseudocode has a serious issue: changing the value of nonce2 in an otherwise valid cryptogram is not detected, and results in invalid deciphered plaintext. That would be fixed by encrypt(password, string): nonce1 := generate_random_nonce() nonce2 := generate_random_nonce() key := derive_key(nonce1, password) encrypted := nonce2 || cipher(nonce2, ...


4

I really like this question, and have two things to say. First note that CBC-MAC is no good since given the key it's easy to find a collision. Let $t$ be a tag for a message $m=m_1,m_2$ of length $\ell$ bits. Then, in CBC-MAC the input to AES first is $\ell$ and then the output is XORed with $m_1$ and input to AES, and so on. Let $t_1$ be the intermediate ...


4

The property you are probably looking for is whether the MACs are PRF. With HMAC it depends on the pseudo-randomness of the hash function used. If the hash is a PRF then the HMAC is as well. However, that is not required for MAC security of HMAC, so it's not necessarily true even with a secure HMAC. See New Proofs for NMAC and HMAC: Security without ...


4

Triple DES is a block cipher. (Specifically, it's a variant of the old DES block cipher with better security, but several times lower performance.) You can use it to encrypt small blocks of data (64 bits = 8 bytes, for Triple DES), but what it's really useful for is as a building block for other cryptographic schemes, such as stream encryption or message ...


4

First lets be precise on some definitions : Integrity = only the authorized users can modify the information. Confidentiality = only the authorized users can access the information. Here the information is in plain view. Authentication = Proof of the identity of the content/sender (sort of proof of identity), be sure to not mistake it with identification. ...


4

One of the main differences is that Message Authentication Codes don't prove authorship of the message. Imagine the situation, when Bob sent a signed contract to Alice. In case of digital signature Alice can go to court claiming that Bob has signed the contract. A judge can verify the signature and make sure that the contract was really signed by Bob as only ...


4

No, it is not necessarily secure. Here is a simplified example of why not. Assume one block zero messages are encrypted without padding. The ciphertext is $I||E(I \oplus 0)$. The MAC value is thus $E(E(I) \oplus E(I)) = E(0)$. So regardless of the IV, the MAC is the same for all such messages. So if you encrypt several zero messages you can leak that fact ...


3

I would propose a rather different scheme. encrypt(password, string): nonce := generate_random_nonce() secret := pbkdf(nonce, password) mackey := kbkdf(secret, 'mackey') enckey := kbkdf(secret, 'enckey') iv := kbkdf(secret, 'iv') encrypted := cipher(iv, enckey, string) return (nonce || encrypted || mac(mackey, encrypted)) Note that I've ...


3

I'm going to agree with @fgrieu's marvelous post above in a back-handed way. My answer is: No, you don't have to use an HMAC. Do it anyway. As you noted, some hashes, sush as SHA-3 (especially in its Keccak form), Skein (which I was a team member on), and others will work just fine. In the case of Skein, there is a one-pass Skein-MAC that has a proof of ...


3

First, terms: A MAC is a generic term for a class of cryptographic primitives. It's in the same category as "hash" or "PRNG." HMAC is a particular construction that, combined with a suitable cryptographic hash, gives a secure MAC function (it can also be used to generically refer to any HMAC algorithm, since HMAC is secure with pretty much any standard hash, ...


3

A normal security notion for MAC's is that of unforgeability. So given some set of message,tag pairs $(m_0,t_0),\ldots,(m_k,t_k)$ is should be hard to create a tag for a new message not among the $\{m_0,\ldots,m_k\}$, stated informally. In your case, you could just use $E_k(m_0)$ with the secret MAC key $k$ ($H_0$ in your notation); no need for the extra ...


3

The MAC is NOT redundant. As alluded to by PaĆ­lo Ebermann's comment, the word authentication has a different meaning in the two scenarios you mentioned. In the key exchange phase of SSH, the purpose of authentication is to ensure to both parties that they are indeed talking to the right peer (if using mutual authentication). Typically, the server ...


3

One particularly interesting aspect of Poly1305 is that its security is guaranteed, assuming the underlying cipher is secure. In other words, Poly1305-AES is guaranteed to be secure, as long as AES has not been broken. In the event that AES is broken, AES could be replaced with another cipher, and get a similar security guarantee. DJB talks about his ...


3

According to Handbook of Applied Cryptography (15.3.2, ii), ANSI X9.9 (which SEJPM mentioned in the comments but I have no access to) defined CFB-MAC only as a compatible alternative to CBC-MAC: The X9.9 MAC algorithm may be implemented using either the cipher-block chaining (CBC) or 64-bit cipher feedback (CFB-64) mode, initialized to produce the same ...


3

At least in the case of NaCl, Poly1305's "sudden death" properties aren't much worse than XSalsa20's. With any stream cipher, if you reuse the same stream with two messages, then the XOR of the ciphertexts gives you the XOR of the plaintexts. So your security is already ruined by nonce reuse, whether or not you rely on Poly1305.


3

This is standard Encrypt-then-Authenticate. The only difference is that when doing EtA, it actually isn't necessary to encrypt everything. This strategy makes sense when there is some part of the message that needs integrity and not privacy. In IPSec, the ICV (which is a counter to prevent replay) does not need privacy. Furthermore, by not encrypting it, it ...


2

The main functional difference is that anyone able to verify a Message Authentication Code is also able to forge one, because the same key is used for both tasks; whereas someone with the public key can verify a digital signature, but can't forge one. Contrary to a MAC, digital signature is thus usable in contexts where the verifier is not trusted, which is ...


2

First, don't roll your own crypto. Second, why would you want to use CBC-MAC, if you have GMAC (GCM-mode) and CMAC and even better HMAC? (all of which are better than CBC-MAC) Third, don't try to fix problems that have been fixed. (see second) Fourth, I'm not aware of this construction being standardized and I'd doubt it has been. (see points 1 to 3) ...


2

What would go wrong if I skipped the encryption step? It's be easy for someone getting some message/UHASH pairs get enough information about the key to produce further message/UHASH pairs himself. If he receives enough pairs (and it wouldn't take that much), he can fully recover the entire key (and then generate a UHASH for any message of his ...


2

A lot has changed recently in this area. Now the only ciphersuites Chrome considers non-obsolete (those that use AES-GCM or ChaCha+Poly1305), do use Carter-Wegman MACs. So, I would say that there is no disadvantage and that any low popularity has been just an artifact of historical decisions in standardization. Secure hashes were the first to be openly ...


2

You scheme, let's call it pad-MAC-encrypt, would indeed fix any padding oracle attacks against MAC-pad-encrypt. The reason it isn't used is probably that padding oracle attacks weren't known when CBC schemes were initially defined and now that they are known, there doesn't seem to be a convincing use case for CBC. Other modes have advantages over CBC anyway ...


2

It is not secure in general, but not insecure in general either. For example, you can get a MAC algorithm for which it would be secure by concatenating constant data to a secure MAC. $Tag_k(m) = M_k(m)||0^n$ is a secure MAC if $M$ is. And clearly taking the first half of that is a secure MAC if $n = |M_k(m)|$. On the other hand, reverse the order of the ...


2

Besides the security benefits of encrypt-then-MAC that many other answers have mentioned, there's a performance benefit. Checking the MAC first on the receiving end allows you to reject forged messages without doing the work to decrypt them. Bernstein mentions this in http://cr.yp.to/snuffle/design.pdf (in the section "Should the stream be independent of the ...



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